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Minimising nitrogen losses in your fertiliser programme

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Last year, I wrote a blog on how to increase nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) to improve your farm efficiency rating and part of this looked at the impact of nitrogen losses.Following on from this DEFRA recently announced a non-regulatory approach which outlines how to reduce ammonia emissions from any urea-based fertilisers.

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Frontrunner - 29th April 2022

Problems accessing this blog? Click here to go to our main blog feed where you'll be able to see our latest post at the top.

There are new contract highs for 2022 European new crop wheat futures this week, as markets continue to react to the longer-term threats to Black Sea wheat supplies - particularly those from Ukraine. The London November 2022 contract passed £300/t for the first time and the old crop May 2022 contract set a new record with a high of £332.20/t.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by farm trader, Lucinda Redgate. 

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Navigate grain market volatility with price and trading tools in MyFarm

The current volatility of global markets and commodity prices is well documented; in recent weeks, there have been price swings that have never been experienced before. While it makes for some interesting market behaviours, knowing when to react in terms of buying and selling can be a challenge, particularly when prices are changing in a matter of minutes.

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Frontrunner - 22nd April 2022

European wheat futures started the post-easter bank holiday weekend with strong gains, with both the Paris and London new crop markets setting new contract highs in early trade following stronger US wheat markets. Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) futures were higher on the latest crop condition report and the overall situation is worse than trade expectations. Winter wheat slipped two points to just 30% good/excellent, this compares to 53% last year and trade expectations at 33%. The crop condition index has only been worse in one of the past 35 years at this stage of development.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by farm trader, Ollie Wilson.

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Frontrunner - 14th April 2022

New crop European wheat futures rallied further this week and set new contract highs, reflecting trade concerns around the prospect of a long-term conflict between Ukraine and Russia. London November 2022 wheat futures briefly touched £295/t, almost double its initial trades and the contract low made in September 2020.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by farm trader, Sophie Powell.

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Frontrunner - 8th April 2022

Grain markets have continued to see volatile trading and early in the week US wheat futures rallied following the first 2022 national crop condition and progress report from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Winter wheat crops are in a particularly poor condition, with ratings as bad as they have ever been at this time of year, with the exception of the 1996 crop. Crops have suffered from prolonged dry conditions, expanding drought and storms in December.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by marketing assistant, Becca Russell. 

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Frontrunner - 1st April 2022

Wheat markets continue to experience notable price volatility in response to developments in the conflict in Ukraine. US wheat futures fell sharply on Tuesday to their lower trading limit and to their lowest level since 1st March. This is in response to encouraging comments made in peace talks being held in Istanbul.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by farm trader, Ollie Wilson. 

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Frontrunner - 25th March 2022

Global wheat markets experienced another week of notable price volatility in the wake of the continuing Russia-Ukraine conflict. European wheat futures struck new contract highs due to increasing fears that there will be no short-term end to the conflict and that there will be significant cuts to Ukrainian 2022 grain production.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by farm trader, Lucinda Redgate. 

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Frontrunner - 18th March 2022

Wheat futures continued to see volatile trading this week as the trade reacted to the impact of the worsening conflict between Russia and Ukraine. There were early notable falls in prices with reports that peace talks between Russia and Ukraine were making some headway and that all five of Russia's Black Sea ports were operating normally for grain shipments.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report is read this week by marketing assistant, Faye Lee.

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Frontrunner - 11th March 2022

The escalating conflict following Russia's invasion of Ukraine and subsequent fears for future wheat supplies from the Black Sea led to extreme volatility in the wheat market this week, resulting in new record highs for futures markets. Wheat futures rose to their highest on record this week, with Paris futures exceeding €400/t and London futures rising above £300/t, breaking the previous record set in 2008.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by farm trader, Sophie Powell.

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Frontrunner - 4th March 2022

Wheat markets have been extremely volatile this week due to the escalating conflict between Russia and Ukraine. London old crop wheat futures hit a high, which was more than £50/t above last week's closing prices, and in doing so set a record high for the market. US Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) futures climbed up by over 30% to their highest figure for 14 years, although remained below the all-time highest figure of $13.49/t which was set in February 2008.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by farm trader, Ollie Wilson.

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Frontrunner - 25th February 2022

Russia's invasion of Ukraine this week triggered unparalleled price movements in commodity markets. US Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat futures posted gains of almost 20% on last Friday's close and, at their peak, were at their highest level since 2008. Fear, panic and speculative trade exaggerated futures price gains but the world's wheat importers have lost access to a primary supplier of wheat and corn as military action brought a halt to commercial shipping and Ukraine's ports shut down. Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) held a tender to buy wheat on Thursday which highlighted the market chaos and uncertainty. There was only one offer from French exporters at a price including freight just below $450/t.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report is read this week by farm trader, Sophie Powell.

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Frontrunner - 18th February 2022

World wheat markets have seen less volatile trading than they have over the past three to four weeks, but prices continue to be underpinned by the worsening situation in Ukraine. US President Biden said on Thursday that there was now every indication that Russia was planning to invade Ukraine in the next few days. Should this be the case, it seems likely there would be interruptions to wheat exports from the Black Sea region, which is a serious concern considering that Russia, Ukraine and Romania continue to dominate international tenders.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by marketing assistant, Faye Lee. 

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How to best manage your AB15: Two-year sown legume fallow

Countryside Stewardship schemes have always been part of the UK farming industry, but with the changes to Basic Payment Schemes (BPS), the future of farming is changing. A good Stewardship scheme can be an integral part of all farming businesses and is a great way to fill the gap that's caused by the losses in BPS.

When advising growers, I regularly discuss Countryside Stewardship options and how they can be integrated into the farm business. These conversations are with many types of growers who have farms of many different sizes, from large estates to smaller family run units.

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‘Work smarter, not harder’ by managing your environmental features digitally

This is a phrase we are all familiar with – in fact, in the past few years I've rarely gone more than two conferences or webinars without someone saying it, including me. However, now more than ever it resonates with me for our industry. Growers are increasingly having to become experts in several areas: not only are you crop production specialists but also environmental managers, accountants, HR advisors and many more things to boot.

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Frontrunner - 11th February 2022

The threat of conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues to generate price volatility in world wheat markets. The week started with an optimistic view from traders that a diplomatic solution to the tensions could be found following a seemingly successful meeting between French president Emmanuel Macron and Russian president Vladimir Putin. This triggered a bout of selling on futures markets on Tuesday.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by farm trader, Sophie Powell. 

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Frontrunner - 4th February 2022

Following last week's notable volatility, wheat markets started this week making sharp loses and struggled to find any form of recovery. The threat of conflict between Russia and Ukraine remains and, should this be realised, wheat futures prices would rally again. Speculative longs have, however, been encouraged by progress with diplomatic solutions, with many having subsequently taken the exit, bringing futures prices down in the process.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report is read this week by farm trader, Sophie Powell.

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Use your grain sampling data to plan the next cropping year

To be frank, a sample bag of grain doesn't really tend to excite many of us. Why would it? It's just a sample, it's minute in comparison to the hard graft that's come before it. But then – if we really think about it – doesn't that make it quite a significant thing?

That bag of grain represents at least a year of hard work; significant investments, the challenges you've overcome and the opportunities you've taken. When you consider the efforts that have gone into creating that bag of grain you realise that, if we are to be completely honest, it all comes down to that bag. The fact is that it isn't just grain in there. It's information, data, learnings, it's proof of things that worked well and sometimes things that didn't.

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Frontrunner - 28th January 2022

The world's wheat markets have seen significant price volatility this week. Fuelled by news reports of increased tension between Russia and the Ukraine, short covering and speculative buying extended gains on Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat futures by 6% by the close of Tuesday and took the market to its highest level since the end of November last year.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by marketing assistant, Becca Russell.

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Frontrunner - 21st January 2022

World wheat markets rallied sharply this week, reacting to mainstream media reports of increasing tension between Russia and the Ukraine. This was highlighted by Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat futures which gained over 7% and, in doing so, recaptured all the losses they had made so far in 2022.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by marketing assistant, Faye Lee.

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